New Hope for Diabetics: Mouse Hormone
Betatrophin helps mice grow insulin-producing cells in pancreas
By Mark Russell, Newser Staff
Posted Apr 26, 2013 8:28 AM CDT
A newly discovered mouse hormone could eventually mean a huge improvement for those suffering from diabetes.   (Shutterstock)

(Newser) – A lowly mouse hormone holds hope for the country's soaring number of diabetics, a new study finds. It seems that betatrophin can grow new insulin-making beta cells in the pancreas; these are the same cells that are either dead (Type 1) or ineffective (Type 2) in diabetics, reports USA Today. "This is really an amazing discovery," said one expert, noting "this opens a whole new pathway to treating diabetes."

Researchers discovered betatrophin by chance, while studying an insulin-blocking compound. The mice they were using responded to the compound by upping production of betatrophin, causing more insulin-producing cells to grow. As usual, scientists caution that they are still a long way away from turning this discovery into a treatment—which would likely be a weekly or monthly hormone shot that would replace the daily regimen of insulin injections.

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Apr 27, 2013 3:40 PM CDT
No wonder I love to eat those squeaky little things! :)
Apr 27, 2013 3:00 PM CDT
There is some conjecture that todays diabetes is related to a problem with the body's immune system wherein your immune system attacks the insulin producing beta cells. If so, then growing new beta cells, wouldn't the immune system attack these new cells too? ie, can't win for losing, so there's a lot more research to be done
Apr 26, 2013 9:56 AM CDT
Who's the leader of the club That's made for you and me M-I-C-K-E-Y M-O-U-S-E Hey! there, Hi! there, Ho! there You're as welcome as can be M-I-C-K-E-Y M-O-U-S-E